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Kene Henkens from the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute presented his research on employers' attitudes and actions toward older workers across Europe. His paper was based on a large scale survey of employers in different EU countries. His key findings were that ageist stereotypes remain prevalent across countries; employers often assume older people are weak in 'hard skills' that they prize highly; and employers recognise that people will need to work longer in future but are less keen to recognise that their workforces will age.
Vanessa Beck discussed employers' use of older workers in the recession in the UK, and considered why older people have been less badly affected than in previous recessions. Dianne Bown-Wilson discussed the complexity of motivations influencing employment of managers in the UK. Helen Barnes discussed UK employers' attitudes to offering flexible retirement options that would benefit older workers. Finally, Ben Baumberg discussed the influence of health on employment in older age, and how this is mediated by the type of job being done and the working conditions.
Paper discussants were Chris Ball (The Age and Employment Network), John Sharman (UK Equality and Human Rights Commission), Tony Maltby (Universities of Sheffield and Leicester) and Phil White (University of Edinburgh).
We had approximately 50 participants. This included representation from public policy officials (the Department for Work and Pensions, Redesigning Retirement Division); the Equality and Human Rights Commission; NGOs (The Age and Employment Network and In My Prime); institutes concerned with retirement issues (the Life Academy and the Pensions Policy Institute); and early career and established researchers.
Manchester Metropolitan University
The seminar brought together academics, practitioners and policy makers to explore:
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